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Deep Neural Networks Segment Neuronal Membranes in Electron Microscopy Images
Dan Ciresan · Alessandro Giusti · luca Maria Gambardella · Jürgen Schmidhuber

Mon Dec 03 07:00 PM -- 12:00 AM (PST) @ Harrah’s Special Events Center 2nd Floor
We address a central problem of neuroanatomy, namely, the automatic segmentation of neuronal structures depicted in stacks of electron microscopy (EM) images. This is necessary to efficiently map 3D brain structure and connectivity. To segment {\em biological} neuron membranes, we use a special type of deep {\em artificial} neural network as a pixel classifier. The label of each pixel (membrane or non-membrane) is predicted from raw pixel values in a square window centered on it. The input layer maps each window pixel to a neuron. It is followed by a succession of convolutional and max-pooling layers which preserve 2D information and extract features with increasing levels of abstraction. The output layer produces a calibrated probability for each class. The classifier is trained by plain gradient descent on a $512 \times 512 \times 30$ stack with known ground truth, and tested on a stack of the same size (ground truth unknown to the authors) by the organizers of the ISBI 2012 EM Segmentation Challenge. Even without problem-specific post-processing, our approach outperforms competing techniques by a large margin in all three considered metrics, i.e. \emph{rand error}, \emph{warping error} and \emph{pixel error}. For pixel error, our approach is the only one outperforming a second human observer.

Author Information

Dan Ciresan (IDSIA)
Alessandro Giusti (IDSIA)
luca Maria Gambardella (IDSIA)
Jürgen Schmidhuber (Swiss AI Lab, IDSIA (USI & SUPSI); NNAISENSE; KAUST)

Since age 15 or so, the main goal of professor Jürgen Schmidhuber has been to build a self-improving Artificial Intelligence (AI) smarter than himself, then retire. His lab's Deep Learning Neural Networks based on ideas published in the "Annus Mirabilis" 1990-1991 have revolutionised machine learning and AI. By the mid 2010s, they were on 3 billion devices, and used billions of times per day through users of the world's most valuable public companies, e.g., for greatly improved (CTC-LSTM-based) speech recognition on all Android phones, greatly improved machine translation through Google Translate and Facebook (over 4 billion LSTM-based translations per day), Apple's Siri and Quicktype on all iPhones, the answers of Amazon's Alexa, and numerous other applications. In 2011, his team was the first to win official computer vision contests through deep neural nets, with superhuman performance. In 2012, they had the first deep NN to win a medical imaging contest (on cancer detection). All of this attracted enormous interest from industry. His research group also established the fields of mathematically rigorous universal AI and recursive self-improvement in metalearning machines that learn to learn (since 1987). In 1990, he introduced unsupervised adversarial neural networks that fight each other in a minimax game to achieve artificial curiosity (GANs are a special case). In 1991, he introduced very deep learning through unsupervised pre-training, and neural fast weight programmers formally equivalent to what's now called linear Transformers. His formal theory of creativity & curiosity & fun explains art, science, music, and humor. He also generalized algorithmic information theory and the many-worlds theory of physics, and introduced the concept of Low-Complexity Art, the information age's extreme form of minimal art. He is recipient of numerous awards, author of over 350 peer-reviewed papers, and Chief Scientist of the company NNAISENSE, which aims at building the first practical general purpose AI. He is a frequent keynote speaker, and advising various governments on AI strategies.

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